When Should You Choose a Prenuptial Agreement?

Posted on: August 23, 2017

In the past, prenuptial agreements were reserved for the upper class. Today, they are more commonplace among everyday couples with the business acumen to recognize their benefits. Anyone planning to get married should consider a prenuptial agreement. This guide will help you decide if it’s right for you and your future spouse.

To schedule a consultation on prenuptial agreements or beyond, contact us online.

How to Bring up a Prenuptial Agreement with Your Fiancé(e)

Many engaged people fear that talking about getting a prenup will offend their fiancée. After all, at face value, the purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to make provisions for a divorce, and no one wants to consider that before getting married.

However, creating a prenuptial agreement is a great opportunity to have a serious discussion about establishing responsibilities, asset ownership, and willingness to share finances (or not). It also covers how you’ll deal with each other’s money as it flows into the relationship. This level of openness and honesty is a great way for a marriage to start. Your discussion will likely reveal whether you even need a prenup at all.

Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for You?

A prenup could make sense for you and your fiancé(e) if:

  • It’s possible that one spouse will stop working to care for future children, go back to school, etc.
  • One or both spouses bring children from previous relationships into the marriage. A prenuptial agreement helps to ensure this person’s assets go to their biological children in the event of their death.
  • One spouse owns a business.
  • One spouse brings significantly more assets to the marriage than the other.
  • One spouse carries significantly more debt than the other.

Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements

Even if both you and your fiancé(e) have few investments, very little disposable income, and minimal personal property, a prenuptial agreement can still be worthwhile. It’s better to plan for the worst while you’re head-over-heels about each other so you can approach difficult subjects with compassion and love. Remember, a prenuptial agreement doesn’t just discuss what happens in the event of a divorce—it also serves as good estate planning if one spouse unexpectedly passes away.

Most importantly, a prenup helps you determine how you and your future spouse are going to run your lives together. These discussions don’t take place across a board room table—they’re friendly chats over dinner. These conversations get both parties on the same page about money, income, debts, and financial priorities. This can help to prevent any future secrets or resentment from destroying the marriage.

In specific terms, creating a prenup gives you the opportunity to:

  • Document businesses, real estate property, retirement funds, and other assets that each person brings into the marriage.
  • Decide how the assets you purchase together—including cars, homes, pets, etc.—will be divided in case of divorce.
  • Declare who is responsible for paying credit card debt, student loans, and mortgage payments to avoid incorrect debt liability.
  • Document and detail specific financial arrangements between you and your spouse. For instance, if one person decides to quit working to finish a college degree, the other spouse agrees to lend support (or not). Either way, both parties are on the same page.
  • Establish rules and procedures for funding investments, vacations, purchases, etc., especially if the couple decides not to combine finances.
  • Reduce conflicts and expedite the divorce process if the marriage ends up not working out.

Schedule a Prenuptial Consultation with Graham Law

If you’re entering a marriage and want to ensure the security of your assets, schedule a consultation with our premarital agreement lawyers in Northern Virginia, or feel free to reach us over the phone at 703-687-6817.

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